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How to Enjoy the Benefits of Your Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library Membership

The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library (CHPL) is a community hub that offers a variety of free services and resources to its members with a library card.

1. E-books

Borrow digital books from CHPL’s extensive collection. Search, reserve, renew, and download books online or through the library app.

  • Libby – Dozens of digital books and magazine titles are available for download directly to a device.
  • Overdrive – A digital library service allowing patrons to borrow free e-books, audiobooks, and other digital media.
  • Freading – Access thousands of always-available eBooks, Disney graphic novels, SparkNotes study guides, and more.
  • Scholastic Bookflix – Streaming versions of classic storybooks for storytime paired with related nonfiction titles. For PreK to 3rd grade.

2. TV, Movie, & Music Streaming

Access thousands of titles in different genres and languages on a computer, mobile device, or TV with an internet connection and a library card.

  • Kanopy – TV and movie streaming.
  • Freegal – Stream or download more than 18 million songs.
  • Hoopla – Audiobooks, eBooks, comics, or music.

3. LinkedIn Learning

A platform offering business, technology, and creative skills courses. Access these platforms with a library card and an email address.

4. Newspaper & Magazines

Read newspapers from home or anywhere with a library card. Access current and historical issues of local, national, and international newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Cincinnati Business Courier, The Guardian, and more.

  • Flipster – Read current and back issues of magazines.

5. Ancestry Library Edition

A comprehensive online resource for genealogical research. Access billions of genealogy records in census data, vital records, directories, and photos.

6. Discovery Pass

With a Discovery Pass, explore Cincinnati’s cultural gems and natural beauty for free.

7. MakerSpace

Makerspace offers tools, materials, and events for collaborative projects. The Library also has access to creativebug, a resource with thousands of arts & crafts videos and library events.

MakerSpace – A young designer working with 3D printer, Computer Classes, Library Programs

Additional Free Services

Passport Assistance

You can also apply for a US passport at the Library with the help of trained staff who can guide you through the process and take your photo for a fee.

Tax Help

Find tax forms and instructions online or at any library location, get free tax preparation assistance from IRS-certified volunteers, and access online tools such as IRS Free File and Ohio Benefit Bank.

Career Development

The Library is committed to providing resources and services to the community’s lifelong learners.

Faxing & Printing

The Library offers free printing and faxing at their locations; just ask a librarian for assistance.

Computers & Laptops

Computers are available to reserve across CHPL’s 41 neighborhood branches. Library cardholders may borrow one laptop at a time for up to two hours inside select Library locations.

Astronomical Telescope (7-Day Rental)

To expand access to STEM-related learning tools and materials, the Library has partnered with Dean Regas and the Cincinnati Observatory to allow the borrowing of 10 Orion StarBlast 4.5-inch astronomical telescopes for use by library cardholders.

Meeting Rooms

Reserve a meeting room or study room online, or ask a librarian.

Free Things Help
Main Library Help, Regional Library, Local Library, Databases, Catalog Search, Library Catalog, Friends of the Library

Free Children’s Services

Homework Help

Cincinnati Public Library hosts FREE homework help for students in kindergarten through eighth grades at select branch libraries in the afternoons during the school year. Work with live expert job coaches or homework tutors through the app.

Free Meals

CHPL partners with UMC Food Ministry to bring meals and snacks to select Library locations. All children ages 1 through 18 are eligible to receive free meals.


Raise your children to be lifelong readers by bringing them to storytime at the Library or watching online.

These are just some of the free services CHPL offers its members. To learn more about available services, visit the CHPL website or any library location. Most library services require patron accounts to be clear of fines.

Free Things Kids
Preschool Child, Community Library, Literacy, For Teens, Free Library, Story Time, Summer Reading, Early Literacy

For More Information

The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is a great place to access free services that enrich individuals’ lives. Whether reading a book, watching a movie, learning a new skill, creating something unique, joining a book club, or getting help from a librarian, CHPL has something for everyone. All that is needed to start enjoying these services is a library card. Apply online or visit any library location to get a library card. 

For more information about Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Libraries, your local branch library, library hours, library news, library services, upcoming events, and storytime, visit the library website or go to the Library.

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize, and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job postings, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

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Written by William Fisher

William Fisher is a dedicated writer at The Voice of Black Cincinnati, focusing on workforce development, jobs, community events, and local history. With a deep appreciation for Cincinnati's rich heritage and vibrant community, William's work offers invaluable resources and insights, helping to connect residents with their city's past and present opportunities. His expertise and dedication make him a vital part of the team. Connect with William on LinkedIn to explore his work and impact on the community.